Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Great Deal of Life is Attitude-
If we have much or little,
its been wisely said that we don't
own a thing but our names.
Everything else is on loan,
and there is only today.
--So pick from this day, at nightfall,
every joyful story,
every beautiful face,
every crumb of understanding,
--roll them up and climb into bed
and rejoice!
~Harriet Beckwith
(my grandmother)

We had Thanksgiving dinner today with our friends Amy & Carla & their kids. It wasn't much different from any other night we eat dinner together - delicious food, good friends, a place to feel comfortable. We didn't even talk about what we were thankful for, or say grace or anything. (Not that any of us subscribe to an organized religion. At least, not that I know of)

BUT I'm not criticizing, please please don't take it that way. It was delightful. I don't know exactly what it is that makes me so happy when our families are together. Everything seems to work - we can take over from one another in almost any situation. I've never had friends like them. I am so so thankful that they are part of my life; of my family's life.

And boy, am I thankful for that dinner - I won't need to eat until the real Thanksgiving now!

Isn't it funny though - today my dad emailed me the snippet from my grandmother. He's been going through his notebooks (he writes every day and has for YEARS) and he found that in a note from her. She was a wonderful woman, and I'm glad I got to know her so well. I miss her every day. She died 11 years ago next week. I still have dreams that I'm at her house, and she's just in the next room. I try and try to find her; to introduce her to the kids; to give her a hug, but I always just miss her. I can smell her in my dreams though - Paloma Picasso perfume, a little baby powder. I think of her when I comb my daughter's hair - it's the same fine, soft stuff. I hear her when I cook, when I have a cup of tea, when I'm getting a little manic trying to do everything all at once. She was a great one for living in the moment, but learning from the past.

Wow, 11 years - that is a lifetime ago. (My son's lifetime, at any rate!) She was one of my best teachers; one of my best friends. That's what I'm going to roll up tonight. Time to climb into bed...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I sat in that room listening, the fire blazing, my heart full. Have you ever been in a place where you knew you belonged? A place that you had been waiting for? Been with a group of people who made your soul vibrate?

All last week I anticipated that meeting - a few, concerned educators trying to figure out how to best help/teach kids. People who are so tired of fighting the system - we know what works. Now we have to figure out how to do that without starving ourselves and our families. I was so worried that the meeting wouldn't live up to my expectations; that I'd blown the whole idea out of proportion; that others wouldn't have the same kind of dream that I have. All that worry was for naught.

There is something about kindred spirits - when we find each other, we KNOW. You remember that bubbly feeling of Possibility when you start a new relationship? It was there. The passion was palpable in that room. I looked around the circle and thought: Do I want to do this? With these people? Do I want to argue, orate, cry, laugh, scream, dance, work, and cry with these people? (I cry a lot) The answer was Hell yes! and Yes! and Yes! again. I have been waiting for so long. I am humbled. I am excited. I know there is a TON of work to do, and I cannot wait.

Monday, November 05, 2007

My mom & I were talking about seeing people in extreme poverty, or people who have repeatedly made poor choices, or people with that "victim" attitude and we were wondering how to deal with it. What can we do to help, if anything? Is this a situation where we let Faith take over, recognizing that they chose (in a metaphysical way) that path this time? But that doesn't erase the need to be compassionate, does it? I mean, I can't just turn my back on them & say "well, that's the life they chose". I know me, and I know that I'd want to do something. (at least help teach them how to chose differently!) But then again, I don't want to be sucked into that victim-void either. I wish I could see the Big Picture sometimes, just for a second.

The reasons why people behave the way they do seems to keep reappearing in my life. I had a boss who used to say "Everybody wants to be Somebody, Nobody wants to be a Nobody" and that's why people behave the way they do.

Somehow, some way, everyone needs to be noticed - needs that acknowledgement that they aren't in a void.

Another theory I really like is from the book Helping Kids Help Themselves by E. Perry Good. This theory is that people behave in order to fill their needs, specifically Love, Power, Fun & Freedom. (Love can mean acceptance, Power can mean control, and freedom can be the freedom to choose.) I've seen this work well, and often, I've forgotten to take that moment, that deep breath just before yelling, and remember that my kids aren't behaving just to piss me off. For example, my middle son had a complete meltdown in the car before we even left school today. He was screaming and red-faced-angry. Finally I got out of him that he had been picked on most of the day today by a certain kid. We talked about strategies (he'd used most of the ones we had talked about last time) and he seemed to calm down a bit. Of course, his little sister was sitting in the very back seat, just trying to push his buttons all the way home. (grr) Once we got home, I thought he might need some control over his life, so I gave him some choices. He decided to help me with dinner, setting the table, cutting up veggies. (Yeah, great idea Lysne, give the angry 7-year -old a knife...) He was fine though, and was much calmer during & after dinner than I've seen him in days.

Ya know, it works even better when I remember to look at my own behavior/needs before I let the kids get to me. If I can find a place to hide - the bathroom, under the stairs, in the closet - and take quick stock of what I'm missing right then (Love), I can address it (Honey, can I get a hug?) and then be on a more even keel. Perhaps even remembering to look at behaviors... and not taking things personally.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Copyright 1952.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

October - and the trees are stripped bare (I love U2)
Well, it's October and 80 fricken degrees out. I'm ready for autumn, for cold nights and wind; for election signs and pelting rain; for football at night and bonfires and hayrides. I am NOT interested in sunburns, or mosquito bites, or swimming. I live in the Upper Midwest - we have seasons here, dammit.

The nice thing is that the kids are in school - and loving it. Well, M is - she's so in love with her teacher, and learning. Every morning she pops up and says "is it a school-day or a home-day?" When I say School-Day she bounces up & down yelling "goody goody goody!" (of course, she does that on home-days too. There's not much that disappoints that child.)

Her brother A is not as excited about school. I think he sees school as an interruption in his day. He'd much rather play. Now he's in 1st grade and the emphasis is on working more & harder, not on playing. He is just not thrilled. Oh well.

The oldest, L, is in public school for the first time (he's been in Montessori for 5 years.) It's a difficult transition (mostly for me!) but he's handling it well. He gets bored often, and isn't real excited about "neatness" but, hey, he's my child, so he wouldn't be!

I went to see Suzanne Vega last Saturday. What an awesome show. I wrote her a thank you note! It was an incredible venue, very small and intimate. And she rocks!

L just had me read The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau. I am so glad there are 2 more books in the series! It was that good. I have been reading some Patricia Briggs (the Raven series), some Martha Grimes (everything, I think!) and Margaret Maron. (I let a few get past me!)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

love is the every only god

who spoke this earth so glad and big
that even a thing all small and sad
man, may his mighty briefness dig

for love beginning means return
seas who could sing so deep and strong

one queerying wave will whitely yearn
from each last shore and come home young

so truly perfectly the skies
by merciful love whispered were
completes its brightness with your eyes

any illimitable star

- e.e. cummings

Monday, August 27, 2007


Tomorrow is our 14th anniversary. I just can't get over that. On one hand, it seems like it can't be that long, and on the other, I can't remember (really) not being married. (or at least not being with C.) In November, we will have known each other for 20 years - more than half my life!

Our wedding was fun, outside, with picnic baskets and green grass and volleyball. I have no regrets - I've enjoyed the ride - and I'm still enjoying it! Three kids, two dogs, a few cats, we've bought and sold houses and cars and we still like each other. I don't think we could ask for more than that.

We still go out on dates, dance with, joke with, and tickle each other. We like to learn things, and do things (canoe, bike ride, hike) together and apart. We both have myspace accounts, and facebook accts, and spend our evenings watching tv & playing on the internets.

I am lucky, so lucky. We irritate each other occasionally, but that's ok. We get to make up after. <>

Here's to many happy returns of this day.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Journaling Exercise: Putting Yourself First

Oy. This lesson keeps coming into my life. Funny, I can say it until I'm blue in the face, I have "take care of you" written all over my calendar, but I haven't internalized it yet. I have a friend that refers to this as the oxygen mask approach. When you're in an airplane and the pressure drops, they say to make sure you put your mask on first BEFORE you help others.

I feel guilty when I do things for myself. I am a stay at home mom of 3, (ages 3, 6, & 9) so my days are pretty busy. I often forget to take time for myself, or I stay up until midnight or so in order to have some peace. BUT, I also don't want to teach my children that being a martyr is OK. I want them to learn to take time for themselves, to understand that it is imperative to have alone time, or together time for the parents, or to be interested in things that have nothing to do with the family, and one can do that and still be a good parent.

I belong to another online group of women, and we've discussed this issue of not taking care of oneself, or not putting oneself first numerous times. I'm amazed that so many women don't, and yet, I'm not amazed at all somehow. It is so easy to deal with other people's problems and ignore my own.

I don't like feeling guilty all the time, and I've asked friends before about where this antiquated feeling comes from. (Feeling guilty because I'm not working outside the home and my husband is; feeling guilty because I can't handle EVERYTHING with aplomb and grace; feeling guilty because I want to take time to read a little, and there's dishes and laundry and vacuuming to do and kids screaming "mama mama mama mama".) Obviously, I didn't listen very well last time I asked!

It's all related to not taking the time to connect with the spirit. Putting pressure on ourselves to be perfect, not carving out time for what is really Necessary.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

How do you see yourself in relation to others?

hmmm. I think this is easiest to approach if I talk about the disconnect I feel sometimes when others say things to me that I don't feel is at all accurate. Other parents at school often comment on how calm I am and how they could never deal with 3 kids, especially with a husband who travels often for work. I don't feel calm - often I've just finished a tantrum in the car. (or I've WANTED a tantrum). I think I'm probably like a lot of people - I feel unsuited to a lot of situations, uncomfortable because of a lack of experience, or know-how, or whatever. I often forget that I am good at teaching, and I love spending time with children. It's easier to hide behind the simple Stay-at-home-mom facade sometimes. I remember being very upset when I was teaching because everyone thought of me as dis-organized (I liked piles of stuff, rather than files - but I didn't lose things. Really.)

I do wonder why/long for a little bit different kind of life - granite-countertops, BMWs, and a laundry/craft room, more $$ in the bank, etc. I look around at my house (inherited furniture, lots of dog hair, and books, and legos) and wonder how in the WORLD I could ever get it to look more like the Pottery Barn catalogs. And then I've also thought that more money could FIX everything. (ha!)

I do notice that I get more into that whole thing (the house-lust, the longing for a car that is NOT a mini-van, etc.) when I'm around other people more (like during the school year). It probably doesn't help that my kids go to a private school, and the parking lot contains cars that often are worth more than my mortgage. (ok, well almost!)

I'm much happier when I have time to myself. When I'm not rushing around delivering kids, and lunches, and stuff. I spend a lot more money during the school year too - and drink more coffee (drug of choice).

On the other hand, when I've been spending a lot of time with my kids, I don't want more stuff. I have a hard time getting motivated to move out of our comfort zone and go to a park, or do something outside of our house. Same with my extended family. I love having them visit. My parents often stay for 2-3 weeks and I wish they'd stay longer, or visit more often. It's not that I don't like going to parks, or having playdates, or visiting museums, etc. I just love my family, and I get selfish about them.

sleep evades me - a little kid caught up in a game of catch-me-if-you-can, if you dare, if you want.
My teeth clench and unclench
muscles too. leg, shoulder, arm, fingers.

I should be able to get past it all - close my eyes and let it go
(let what go? what is it that makes my heart race, my legs want to kick kick kick, my eyes blink open to watch the time tick by)

I make lists of my lists. to do tomorrow, next week, at the library.

I start the dish washer, get coffee ready, fold clothes.

sit in this chair
one knee resting on the other
hard wood pressing against my back, my thigh, my calf
elbow on the placemat. the blue one that will waffle my skin long before I decide to go back to bed.

Yawns escape teasingly. the cat makes one last circut and then settles down near the birdcage. i finish my tea
turn off the light

and shuffle back upstairs.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I don't think about anger very much. I do get angry. Mostly when I'm frustrated. I have three children (9,6, and 3 years old) and I've cracked a tooth by clenching my jaw too tightly when they didn't get in the car in a timely (to me) fashion, or get dressed, or listen to me. I don't understand where that anger comes from, well I do, but I don't understand the intensity of that anger.

Although if I think about the rest of my life, the little things that pile up like dirty clothes, I can see it. I am a very patient person. It usually takes a lot for me to get upset. And when I do, I don't know that I'm allowed to let anyone know. (More of that child energy, perhaps?)

When I was teaching, we had a set of questions to help our students get through situations that angered them: What? So What? Now what? My dad just reminded me of that little triplet, and it seems to help. It is fun to get angry at things that I have no control over (other drivers, for instance) but then I remember that I have others in the car with me at all times (the aforementioned kidlets) and what am I teaching them in that instance?

Recently (well, this year) I was able to follow through on my anger (a friend betrayed my trust, and I called her on it) and not be blaming or shrew-like and it felt good.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


As an assignment for a class I'm in, we had to discuss our fears. At first, I didn't think I had any. (ha!)

I'm afraid of
1. listing my fears. It's taken me a week to do this. If I list
them, then I might actually have to deal with them.

2. snakes (that one's easy)
3. Hurting anyone's feelings
4. disappointing my husband
5. not being able to communicate well with my kids
6. losing myself in my life of stay-at-home mother/wife
7. confrontation... and yet
8. NOT confronting issues that bother me
9. accepting praise
10. not knowing what I want,
11. (and by extension) not being in control.

What are you afraid of??
(and you can't say ending a sentence in a preposition...)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Trying to get this in before the end of May, so I don't mess up my average of posting once a month...

I was tagged by my friend Marc - 7 random things about myself...

1. My name is a verb. Lysne (in America, rhymes with Disney, in Norway it's lees na) is a Norwegian verb meaning "to become light". According to my grandmother, the town of Lysne (in Norway) is near the arctic circle. They were the first to get the light after the winter months of darkness. The people of Lysne would sound the alarm on alpinehorns and let the rest of the communities know the light was coming. They were often referred to as "the people of the Light".

2. I read constantly. I usually have 2 or 3 books going at a time, often in different parts of the house. Today I'm reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, Jovah's Angel by Sharon Shinn, and Don't Look Down by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer.

3. My parents were hippies - I"m lucky I wasn't named Rainbow. We lived in the Haight when I was 4 months old, and before then we lived in a communal dwelling in Crested Butte, Colorado. We moved to Michigan when I was 3 and I have been here for 30-some years.

4. I've been to every state except Alaska, Hawaii and Rhode Island. (See number 3)

5. I make a mean apple pie. One of my pies went for over $25 at an auction one year. (My crust is to die for... really.)

6. My favorite car is a 1968 Porche 911, pale yellow with a dark green interior. NO whale tail.

7. My right "pointer" finger is not straight because I slammed it in a car door on my 12th birthday.

whew. Now I have to tag 7 others:

Monday, April 09, 2007


Whan that aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of march hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
Tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the ram his halve cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye
(so priketh hem nature in hir corages);
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,

My high school English teacher Mr. Seal, would scream this from the front of the room in the beginning of April. Usually without warning.

(He was short, and dramatic, and energetic, and PASSIONATE.) We had no idea what to do with him.

We were small town high school kids, searching for coolness. Passion, true passion, has nothing "cool" about it. We knew about being HOT, but that too, had nothing to do with being passionate. Mr. Seal was the fodder for many jokes, and fond reminices later in life. We respected his passion, in our own ways. Mostly after rolling our eyes.

We had an interesting discussion during Easter dinner yesterday. What goes on in your mind? Are you able to think of nothing? Do you have a narrator/voices that chatter in your mind while you look around?? The only time I am able to turn off my narrator is while I'm reading. My husband can have nothing in his head. I have a voice that is listing everything that needs to be done, or is describing things all the time.

I'm interested in how other people think/the conversations that they have in their minds.

I'm reading Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff and The Diamond Age: A Ladies Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Spring has sprung. I know - I live in Michigan - there is a chance of snow up until May. But, the daffodils are blooming, the hyacinths aren't far behind. I pass red-wing blackbird sentinels on the entrance ramp to the highway.

My refrigerator is filled with lovely produce: new asparagus, fresh lettuces, bright green scallions. I love spring. Of course I love to eat... Mmmm. We got the grill out this evening - it started to rain as soon as I lit the charcoal.

It is spring break for the kidlets. We started it off with TMNT (teenage mutant ninja turtles) movie. Fun. Ok, well it was until 1/2 way through when A threw up, loudly. Poor kid. He looked so pale and white afterwards. He didn't miss much of the movie, though. Poor girls in the row in front of him - it was kind of stinky.

So, I am spring cleaning. It wasn't exactly planned, however. A new box of olive oil - purchased for the cool packaging - leaked all over my corner cabinet (one of those with the spinning shelves). As soon as I got that cleaned up (which involved taking the door off of the cabinet, and all the food out of the cabinet, and then replacing all of the above) I noticed that the floor was wet. The seal around the drain in the kitchen sink failed. After emptying out that cabinet, and drying it out, I started cleaning out the utility sink in the laundry room. M called me for something and I accidentally left the water running. The plug was in and the entire sink overflowed. Some time later, I realized that the water was running. and running, and running. It ended up raining in the basement. C was NOT HAPPY. Neither was I, truthfully. The copious amounts of dirty clothes on the laundry room floor were soaked. The storage room in the basement was wet. I ended up being late picking up the kids from school. But now I have a sparkling laundry room. and kitchen. (But really - could someone let the universe know that I can handle the rest of the house without any "encouragement"?)

Just finished reading two Carol O'Connell mysteries, the newest Deborah Crombie mystery, and I'm in the midst of The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff for the YARG (young adult reading group) on

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more sooner than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail

it is most mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea

love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive

it is most mad and moonly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky

-e.e. cummings

This poem was hung in my grandmother's kitchen. I read it every day my senior year of high school and never thought of what it meant. Each word is familiar, recognizable, comfortable. In the summer I'd run the paths around the "farm" and each bump, each tree, each stone was remembered by my body. Breathe, breathe, step, step, jump a bit, duck. This poem is the same way. I love the way it sounds, the way it feels on my tongue. I'm thinking of hanging it in my own kitchen - and then I think I should find my own anthem to display, or write one. As I re-read the poem I wonder what my grandmother liked about it. Did she like (as I do) the alliteration? The idea that love is mad and moonly? What was her idea of love - she who eloped and didn't tell her father for 3 months that she was married (in the 1930s); the mother of 4 children (1 adopted); the country doctor's wife? My favorite line is "less bigger than the least begin". Perhaps this poem was her way of warning me about expectations.

I was looking for some books tonight for a friend. I thought they were down with my school stuff, but I must have put them somewhere else. I did find this poem, and 3 other books I haven't read, 1 book that I was discussing with my father today, and a buckwheat-hull pillow. There are times, (many, many times!) that I wish I was a more organized person, but where would the fun be in that? I enjoy these mini-treasure hunts, and the fact that there are more books in this house that I need to read than books I've read.

Oooh, I just finished The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Wow. This was a poignant, enchanting, moving, poetic book. After I'd read the last chapter, I turned back to the beginning and started over. We're having a discussion of it at Readerville (in fact, I'm discussion leader, and I can't think of anything intelligent to say. I just want to gush!)

I've also read Beka Cooper: Terrier by Tamora Pierce, a Sharon Shinn book: Dark Moon Defender, and a Lois McMaster Bujold novel: The Sharing Knife: Beguilement. Now I'm in the middle of a Jane Yolen book about Dragons, and East by Edith Pattou.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Slow as Molasses in the winter....

The thing is, molasses moves slowly, but it still moves. I was cleaning my counter and found a small drop of molasses behind the coffee maker. hmm. Interesting. I followed it up to the bottom of the cabinet. Opened the door - moved EVERYTHING from the first shelf - just a few thin lines of molasses dripping down the back. So I cleaned off the second shelf. More lines of molasses, thicker here, but not the source. I tackled the third shelf - bingo. An entire bottle of molasses had emptied out, slipping under baking supplies: chocolate, colored sugars, Fruit Fresh. I had to take the wooden part of the shelf out, run it under hot water. My house still smells like molasses and the contents of that cupboard are on the counter. I ran out of energy.

Well, that, and I've been held hostage by Lois McMaster Bujold this weekend. I read Paladin of Souls and The Hallowed Hunt this weekend. In both cases I was completely lost in the book. Mmm - it is so delicious when that happens! I practically ignored my children & husband, some meals, and the dirty dishes, but did I have fun! Next up The Sharing Knife: Beguilement by Bujold. I think the one thing that I love about her work is her characters' ability to swear. Not with words that would be considered rude in our society, but they work so well within the worlds she's created. I am envious of her ability to create believable worlds. Of course, I often wonder if I would be well suited to live in a world like that - no technology, basic basic needs met only. Could I kill a chicken? Could I make bread for my table & clothes for my children's backs? Ride a horse? Could I survive?

That's a question I ask myself often. What could I do if I needed to? With so many choices of things that I can do every day, and not much that I absolutely need to do, will I lose somehow that part of me that makes life & death decisions? If there was a war, or something that devastated the world, could I survive? Could I help my children? What skills do I really have? and could they translate into some other kind of life?

Ach! Too much philosophy for tonight. more later...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I fell in love with my hands tonight. My 3 year old gave me a manicure yesterday - hot pink with glitter. Most of my nails are covered. It feels heavy and catches my eyes at inopportune times.

I'm fascinated with how much my hands look like my mother's hands. Kind of dry, each follicle is obvious, each crease and bend mapped out. I wonder what a palmist would say, following my life line, my heart line, my head line. I remember in elementary school we'd try to predict how many kids we'd have, or whether we'd die young and tragically, or marry well, just by reading palms.

I press my fingers together. Namaste. I press my thumbs against my eyes, near my nose, my first fingers touch my forehead. My fingers bend and voila - a cathedral of flesh. My water glass shines blue through my pinkies: a stained glass in blue at the altar.

I stare at my palms again, wonder at the geometry of the lines: right angles, obtuse angles, bisecting parallelograms. Math has a certain poetry, as long as you aren't stressing about it.


I'm listening to Loreena McKennitt An Ancient Muse It is beautiful. Haunting.

I just finished King Dork by Frank Portman (see his blog at This is an excellent book - Mr. Portman has caught the essence of being a misfit teen. I enjoyed it tremendously. (We're discussing it at the YARG - Young Adult Reading Group on Readerville - )

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Such a small word, it looks strong, doesn't it? No flimsy apostrophes, no weak hyphens, all strong, solid letters. But it is so easy to break. I shared something I shouldn't have, with someone I trusted, and now? I shouldn't have trusted her. Of course, I shouldn't have said it in the first place either, so I'm as much to blame.

However when I confronted her about her indiscretion, she blew me off. "Oh, I screwed up. You'll just have to punish me then."


I am not her mother. I'm not looking for justice. An apology would have been nice. (and truthfully, she may have apologized, but the "punish me" comment stuck in my head, so anything she said after that is hazy.) I would have appreciated some indication that she realized that what she said affected me - her friend.

Ah well. Perhaps it's the universe, giving me a shove in the proper direction. I've been so aimless lately, lots of "shoulds" and things to think about, but without a true course. Was that my FedEx moment from above? (see last post)

Ooooh, my house is beautiful. Saturday was a Taekwondo tournament. C, A, and L were all part - C is now a 1st degree black belt, L is a 2nd degree black belt (at 9 years!), and A is a green belt. I told another friend I'd watch her kids. Her middle son, K, was sitting in the stands watching the tournament when he accidentally dropped his PSP game. It smashed on the floor and he was in tears. (he's 10) When A finished his portion of the tournament, we hopped into the van and went back to our house. K was so upset, and trying to figure out how to make some $ to buy a new PSP - so I said "if you help me clean, I'll pay you". He said "I love to clean." I told him he should wait until he saw my house before he said he'd help.

At any rate, he did a wonderful job, he cleaned, vacuumed and steam-cleaned my living room. (it took 2 hours!) I told him to come back on Tuesday & help me with A's room. Yippee!

And, the cleaning bug was catching. I got the kitchen cleaned up too. It makes me so happy.

I read The Thirteenth House by Sharon Shinn - I didn't like the write up on the flyleaf, but I read the book anyway and it was much much better than I thought it would be. Next up King Dork by Frank Portman.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Well, how the heck did that happen? All of a sudden it's the middle of January, 2007.

Oh frabjous day! Today has been delightful. I had coffee with my dear friend and her son Kieran. He's 1 1/2, a beautiful boy, so serene. He has Down's, and is my first experience with a child with that challenge. There is something there that just hits me in the middle of my chest when I spend time with him. Not to sound sappy, or new-agey or anything, but I am certain I knew him Before.
Then off to lunch with Jen & her daughter. Jen was my student, and I can still remember the day I found her on my couch (in my classroom) crying and pale and shaky. She wore a burgundy shirt, and her long hair was in a pony tail. Her boyfriend was holding her and I asked what was up. She told me she was pregnant, and I held her for a long time.

Omigosh - Jen is an AWESOME writer - I used to love to read her stories. Vampires and telekinesis - (insert delightful shiver here).

Lunch was so fun, and I felt so fulfilled and reconnected. I've been playing around on Myspace, finding people I miss so much. Tonight I logged on and another old student found me. I still have a copy of her senior project - a chapbook of poetry. What an affirming day.

Funny, I've been so up in the air about what to do next with my life. Some days I want a job so much I can taste it, and others, (especially after we watch The Office), I'm so glad I don't! A few months ago I knew I was supposed to put together a middle school, and then, suddenly, I'm not so sure. Does fate change? What is destiny? There are days, like today, that I wish Whoever Is In Charge would just send a FedEx envelope with directions inside.

"Dear L,
Start a school. Put it in Lansing,
and open it to everyone.
I'll send someone to pay for it.
Love, God/Allah/Buddha/whoever"

Somehow, I don't think I should hold my breath.

Let's see, I've read more Sharon Shinn this month: The Dream-Maker's Magic and The Truth-Teller's Tale - so good, so comfortable, so DELICIOUS. I have such a sweet taste in my mouth when finished with her books. Next up The Thirteenth House if I can ever find it! (it's another Shinn) I've been into Da Vinci's Inquest on TV too. It's a detective show from the late 90's-early 2000. So GOOD!